mercredi 10 août 2011

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

The story of John Perkins is an easy to stumble upon story in the conspiracy theory based literature. I learned about him in the second documentary of the famous series Zeitgeist. John Perkins wrote a book about his story, his life: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. In this book, he explains how the United States of America used economy and finance to extend its empire across the globe. I thought that it is a point of view worth telling, especially that I always considered that 90% of the world's events are often driven by hidden financial logic.

Corporatocracy is a word Perkins invented to describe the implicit coalition of the banks, corporations and governments. The interests of these three institutions have converged in the current capitalist economical system. A lot of big names in this coalition have in their CVs entries from the three different institutions: for example the current president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick was a former Deputy Secretary of State of the USA and a member in the board of the energy corporation Enron.
This Corporatocracy is the new imperialist empire of nowadays. The Americans have discovered after their wars in Asia in the fifties that they had to change their imperialist strategies. They adopted a new creative strategy to dominate countries with resources: Corporatocracy instead of armies. This strategy has three different steps according to the resistance of the targeted country.
The first step is accomplished by the Economic Hit Men (EHM) like John Perkins. The objective is convincing the leaders of the country with resources to take huge loans from the World Bank to finance some development projects. These projects are contracted to american corporations (construction, energy, communication, consulting..) so the money is vehicled back to the USA. EHMs are men with expensive suits, who work often for private consultancy companies for camouflage, and try to convince third world leaders with a lot of means. One of the tasks John Perkins has typically done was writing exaggerated economical forecasts on the effect of loans and development projects on the growth of the targeted country's GDP. He even invented with the collaboration of an MIT mathematician an economical model for forecasting that is easy to cheat. Other ways for convincing include corruption, threats, sex.. Typically the leader will be promised to be rich with his family, and protected also by the USA. When the leader yields, his country with rich resources makes huge loans from the World Bank. Loans that can never be payed back with interests. This way the World Bank blackmails this country afterwards, and forces it to open its borders to american corporations, sell its oil for low prices, accept american military bases on its land, give its vote for the USA in the UN...
If the EHMs fail their mission, the Jackals step in. This is the second step. The Jackals are professional killers, specialized in eliminating leaders by assassinations or other methods. In Ecuador, Jaime Roldos elaborated a policy that helped its people with the oil money, and it was surely not international oil companies friendly. He was killed in an "mysterious" plane crash. In Panama, Omar Torrijos wanted to enforce the fair pact that was signed with Carter about the canal. He was similarly killed in a plane crash. The savoir-faire of the Jackals includes organizing riots and coup d'etat such as with Mossadegh in Iran and Chavez in Venezuela.
In the third step, the traditional army approach is finally used. This is when the EHMs and the Jackals fail. In the case of Irak, Saddam Husein has a strong character, he had money and power and wasn't corruptible by the EHMs, and the Jackals couldn't get him because he has collaborated a lot with CIA and knew all of their tricks. Irak was invaded after that the Corporatocracy has invested billions of dollars in media to convince the public opinion of the invasion. They got what they wanted. The oil, the military bases, and all the development projects contracted to the american corporations.

A documentary has been made based on this book, you can find it on youtube:

As I saw on the internet, this book was a bestseller, rose a lot of criticism on some factual things, and was described as another conspiracy theory book. Personally, I found the book interesting and quite passionate. Nevertheless, I think the essential information is not enough to make a book of it, but the way the author has put it in a narration style makes it  worth reading, even if some information is being repeated constantly. I also think the the confessions of Perkins have come a little bit late, after he has played the game for many years. Something inside of me felt while reading the book that the author wanted by this book just another success in his life rather than an authentic confession. I felt also that the author is a bit egocentric as if the stories are more about him than about explaining the Corporatocracy game. This makes me wonder about the correctness of the facts in the book. 
In all cases it is an interesting book and a point of view worth exploring. It is also a point of start to further readings on the big political events of the last century.


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